If you like Don Pablo's Mexican restaurant in downtown Fergus Falls, you'll like the Don Pablo's Family Mexican Restaurant that will open in the Washington Square Mall in the next few months.
Jose and Teresa Rodriguez have owned and operated the Fergus Falls restaurant since 2004, and plan to bring the same down-home Mexican menu to the Detroit Lakes restaurant, which will be located in the former Dairy Queen site next to the movie theater at the mall.
"We're an authentic Mexican restaurant," Teresa said. "We know what we're doing-we've been doing it quite a few years."
With 20 years of Mexican restaurant experience, Jose is the main chef. "We make everything fresh," Teresa said. "He is so picky about his food. Everything is made fresh as ordered-He wants his meat perfect cuts, he marionates his own fajitas ... he's very unique with his plates and flavors. He wants it his way. We're very known for our fresh-made salsa, chips, rice and beans."
Don Pablo's routinely wins honors in the annual "Taste of Fergus Falls" competition, including Grand Champion in 2015.
It has an extensive menu, including authentic meat dishes made with steak, chicken and pork, shrimp and mushroom dishes, vegetarian fare, eggs and some unusual dishes that include scallops, octopus and crab, as well as various types of burritos, tacos, appetizers, enchiladas, fajitas, tostadas, soups, eggs and combination platters.
There is also a kids menu, and a "North of the Border" section of American fare like steaks, hamburgers and sandwiches. There's a lunch menu, desserts, and alcoholic beverages.
Not to be confused with the Tex-Mex chain of the same name, which no longer operates in Minnesota, Don Pablo's was named in honor of Jose and Teresa's fathers, both named Pablo.
The couple also used to run a Don Pablo's restaurant in East Grand Forks, next to Cabela's sporting goods, but "with my youngest boy in school, it got to be a bit much," Teresa said. With Detroit Lakes less than half the distance, the traveling should be more manageable, she said.
The new restaurant will seat about 90 customers, and will employ about a dozen people, including a chef hired from Colorado, and not including Jose, who runs the kitchen, and Teresa, who works all areas as needed. Their three boys Rojelio, 33, Juan, 30, and Jose, 15, will also help out as their time and schedules allow.
"We'll be spending a lot of time here at first, but we can't neglect Fergus Falls," Teresa said. "Most of our servers have been there since we opened."
Don Pablo's Family Mexican Restaurant will be open seven days a week and open at 11 a.m. daily.